Living in Light of Two Ages
Creeds, Councils & Heretics
This week on the White Horse Inn, our hosts are joined by Justin Holcomb. Justin is an Episcopal minister and adjunct professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He has written and edited a number of books, including On the Grace of God and Rid of My Disgrace. His most recent works include Know the Creeds and Councils and Know the Heretics (both Zondervan, 2014) which will be the topic of today’s discussion.
Why should we care about the early church’s creeds? Why should Christians use catechisms today? What possible relevance do they have to our worship and life? What is heresy and how can we differentiate it from the truth?
Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we look at the rich heritage of proclaiming Christ in the tradition of the church fathers and councils.
The White Horse Inn crew (Rod, Shane, KR, and Mike) spent the day taping a new series on the Holy Spirit (Justin Holcomb was also with us).
I thought I'd take the opportunity to get a group photo, and a picture of us in studio.
The guys asked me to extend their sincere Christmas greetings, so "Merry Christmas" from the guys at the White Horse Inn!
Here's a great tribute by NY Times sports writer, Tyler Kepner, to the late Topps executive Sy Berger, who died this week at age 91. You may not know his name, but you've seen his work. Mr. Berger was the father of the modern baseball card.
I was one of those kids who would never put something as precious as a baseball card in the spokes of my bike. Thinking it would help my sons get into card-collecting, I did sell and trade some of my partial sets from the late 60's for complete 1980-1990 sets. I now have no Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, or Willie Mays cards in my collection, only couple of complete sets featuring Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Sammy Sosa.
I think I should have kept the old ones and admired Mr. Berger's art. If I owned a bike, I think I'd put a few of my newer cards in the spokes.
Poor Mark Oberholtzer. In October 2013 he traded in his old truck to AutoNation when he bought a new one. Who knows how many times his old work truck has traded hands since. But somehow it ended up in the hands of ISIS as seen in this recent photo.
Mr. Oberholtzer should have removed his "Mark's Plumbing" logo and phone number, because now someone might call needing a truck-mounted Soviet-made ZPU-2 to deal with pesky government forces and attacking aircraft.
The Eleventh in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John
Our world and everyone in it has fallen in Adam. We stand condemned and await the sentence of judgment because God is holy and he must punish all sin. Even worse, that same sinfulness which condemns us, distorts our thinking about our sin, guilt, and God’s grace. Because of this, we actually prefer the darkness of unbelief, as we foolishly attempt to hide ourselves and our sin from God. No doubt, we deserve God’s eternal wrath. But God’s holy wrath is not the end of the story. God is also love. The story of redemption repeatedly tells us that God has made gracious covenant promises to his people to save them from their sins, and then at the great climax of redemptive history, God sent his own beloved Son–who is the light of the world–to save us from ourselves, and to deliver us from the wrath of God which is to come. Nowhere is this saving mission of Jesus better summarized than in the words of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
We have now made our way into John 3 and John’s report of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus. In this chapter we find John 3:16, which, without doubt, is the best known and most widely-quoted verse in all the New Testament. Sadly, John 3:16 also has become a object of ridicule by many of our contemporaries–wrestler Steve Austin comes to mind. And who can forget the rainbow wig of Rollen Stewart, who showed up at every major sporting event throughout the 1970's-80's holding a sign which read “John 3:16" while mugging for the cameras. More importantly, at least in regard to our time and interest, John 3:16 is cited by many of our friends and contemporaries as the supposed biblical death knell to the evil doctrine of the Calvinists, who deny that Jesus died for everyone (“the world”), when John 3:16 explicitly says otherwise. So, there is much to say about this passage, and we best let John the disciple, the author of this text, say it.
Last time we took up the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus in the first 15 verses of John chapter 3. Nicodemus was from a prominent Jewish family (the Gurions) and was a noted teacher and member of the Pharisees (even perhaps, a member of the Sanhedrin). An older man well-known to everyone in Jerusalem, Nicodemus approached Jesus at night to ask Jesus about the miracles Jesus had been performing while in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Based on these miracles (John does not give us any specifics other than Jesus driving out the merchants and money changers from the temple courtyard), Nicodemus knew that Jesus must have been sent by God, and that God was with him.
Jesus replies to Nicodemus’ comment by telling him that unless Nicodemus is born again (or from above) by the power of God, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Completely baffled by Jesus’ comment, Nicodemus asks Jesus “how can it be that an old man like himself can enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time?” In verse 5 of John 3 Jesus repeats his statement of verse 3, “truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” adding the necessity of being born of water and the Spirit to his previous comment. Some have argued that Jesus is referring to baptism (water) which regenerates (spirit). Other have argued that Jesus is referring to natural birth (water–amniotic fluid) followed by a spiritual birth (being born a second time).
To read the rest of this sermon: Click Here
Sunday Morning (December 21): We are concluding our four part Advent series, focusing this coming Sunday upon the suffering servant, who took the form of a servant (Isaiah 52-53; Philippians 2). Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Afternoon: As we work through the Heidelberg Catechism's teaching regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ (during Advent), we will take up Lord's Day 13 (Q & A 33-34) and discuss Jesus as God's only begotten son. Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday Night Bible Study: Bible Study will resume January 14, 2015
The Academy: The Academy will resume in 2015.
Lessons and Carols (Wednesday, December 24): You are cordially invited to join us for our annual service of Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m.
For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website: Christ Reformed Church
Why Should We Believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity?
Why should Christians believe in the Trinity anyway? What biblical passages have been used to support this teaching? Are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simply three different forms of God's presence? Does the Bible really teach that Jesus is divine? The hosts, along with Fred Sanders, walk through the biblical texts and alternative theories as they continue to explore the doctrine of the Trinity.